By: Ivan Cooley
Psalm 31: 9-16
Reflection—v. 9 ‘Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress’
This psalm sounds like a lament, and the way it flows, it sounds to me like a description of what it is like to be a person with no home. When I think about a person with no home, I’m thinking about some other works about a man without—A Man with No Country, A Man with No Face. This is what it’s like to be homeless—a person with no home, no country, no face. On the margins of society you’re basically not accepted. So everyday I was in the state of mind where I was asking the Lord to be gracious to me, because I was in distress—and I felt like there were so many things wrong with me that I didn’t even know where to begin. When you are a person without a home, the authorities become your adversaries. It’s nothing personal—it’s just a job. But they will tell you, ‘You can’t stand here’. Sometimes I would ask, ‘Why not?’ And I’ve been told, ‘Well, it doesn’t look right.’ Are you telling me that as a human being, just like you, that you look right standing here—somebody else might look right standing here—but I don’t look right? Since when was it against the law not to look ‘right’? Sometimes they would escalate things and threaten to lock me up. But you know, they quit being my enemies a long time ago. All that is because of God’s steadfast love. It’s a circle—lets go right back to the beginning where we started. It says, ‘Be gracious to me.’ God’s grace and God’s mercy are the only reasons I’m still here.
Prayer: Be gracious to us, O Lord, who have no home, no country, no face.